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Prosecution to investigate ‘rash, cough-causing’ baby mats

State prosecutors have launched an investigation into a domestic baby goods manufacturer after scores of children using the company’s baby mats developed skin rashes and cough. 

Parents of some 90 children, 30 of them aged 4 or below, have filed damage reports since June 8, when the first such claim against the product from Borny Korea was filed. 

Instagram capture of a baby's back with skin rash. (Instagram capture)
Instagram capture of a baby's back with skin rash. (Instagram capture)

Mothers claimed to have found white, powdery residue from the mat and suspect the substance may have triggered hives and coughs in children. 

Prosecutors plan to summon company officials to look into how the product cleared a safety test. 

The Korea Consumer Agency recommended consumers abstain from using the disputed product. 

The company has been advertising that the mat was made of a new material called “Outlast fabric,” developed by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration. It is the same material used by NASA to make spacesuits, it claimed, advertising the mat for having a “temperature control function” to help infants recover from a fever.

Following damage reports, the company apologized on its website but said the product had cleared safety tests and the company did not foresee any such problem in the product development process.

“When we first found Outlast fabric abroad, we thought it was good for babies with fevers or atopy. There was no issue when we received test certificates and imported the material.” Borny Korea said in a statement. 

The company sells 28 baby goods products including sleeping gowns for infants and blankets using the Outlast fabric. 

“I laid my baby on the air mat for more than 20 hours a day. What has the air mat done to my baby who is only 136 days old?” a mother wrote online, saying her child started to develop rashes that spread over the body.

By Kim Da-sol (ddd@heraldcorp.com)
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